Attukal Ponkala on March 3, security stepped up

via Pioneer News Service | Kochi published on February 16, 2007

The famous Ponkala of the Attukal Bhagavathy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram will be held on March 3. The ten-day Ponkala festival, which commences on February 23, will conclude on March 4.



Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Attukal Bhagavathy Temple Trust chairman G Madhavan Nair said the festival would begin with the Kaappukettu at 8.00 pm on February 23. The Vritham for the boys taking part in the Kuthiyottam would start on February 25.


The Ponkala ceremony would be performed at 10.45 am on March 3 and the Nivedyam of the Ponkala would be performed at 2.45 pm.


Nair also said that the State Government had promised to deploy special police force in the area during these days for the smooth conduct of the festival. The Southern Railway had agreed to run a special train from Ernakulam to Thiruvananthapuram and another from Madurai to Thiruvananthapraum on the Ponkala day, he said. The temple trust has also made elaborate arrangements for providing water for the devotees.


About 20 to 25 lakh women were expected for this year’s pongala offering, said Madhavan Nair.


The festival, which has found mention in the Guinness Books of World Records for the largest gathering of women on a single venue, recorded the highest attendance on February 23, 1997. It was recorded that 1.5 million women came down for the festival on this day.


The Attukal Bhagavathy Temple is known as Women’s Sabarimala. On the Ponkala day, women would gather with their cooking pots to perform the ritual for the health and prosperity of their families, he said.


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